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Lebanon jails activist Kinda al-Khatib for ‘collaborating’ with Israel

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Lebanon’s military prosecution on Monday sentenced an activist to three years in prison for “collaborating” with Israel and traveling to the Jewish state, a judicial source said.
Kinda al-Khatib, who is in her twenties, was arrested in June and charged with “collaborating with the enemy”, “entering the occupied Palestinian territories” and “collaborating with spies of the Israeli enemy”.

Lebanon is technically still at war with Israel and forbids its citizens from traveling there.

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A United Nations peacekeeping force patrols the border area between the neighboring countries.

“The military court... issued a ruling imposing a three year prison sentence with hard labor on Kinda al-Khatib,” said the judicial source, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to comment on the issue.

Prior to her arrest, Khatib on Twitter had criticized Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite movement that fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel.

Her family and activists have denounced her arrest as “political” because of her tweets against those in power.

Lebanese media and activists have drawn a parallel between Khatib’s case and that of actor Ziad Itani, who was also accused of “collaborating” with Israel in 2017.

Itani was declared innocent and released several months later, and a high-ranking security officer was then charged with “fabricating” the case.

Hezbollah is the only party not to have disarmed after Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, since when it has also become a major player in Lebanese politics.

The Shiite group is designated a “terrorist” entity by many Western governments, but its supporters credit it with ending two decades of Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000.

It fought a 33-day war against Israeli forces in 2006 that killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and over 160 Israelis, the majority soldiers.

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